I just wanted to put a quick post up about the event with Imam Suhaib Webb last night at the East London Mosque (08.03.08).
Masha Allah may Allah bless Imam Suhaib and may He increase him in his knowledge and grant him and his family the best of this world and the next. Imam Suhaib is a great inspiration for the youth and for the student of knowledge. He has shown to us through his devotion and hard work what can be achieved if you put your mind and dedication to it. I wish that I could sit with him and study with him and I hope that someday soon he would take some time out to bless us brothers in the UK with his presence and do short courses on various topics.
I felt a warmth and comfort in the gathering that you feel in the presence of teachers. The way he came and sat down on the floor and the way in which he addressed the brothers it was as if we were his own flesh and blood. He had such love for the brothers that even while he was talking when a cell phone rang with a musical tone he did not get upset nor did it distract him from his lesson. He was easy with the brothers and he let them feel relaxed and if they wanted to go for a nap or take some rest while he was talking he allowed them to do so.
For me it was a wonderful experience, it was just like a traditional halaqa where we sat on the floor and crowded around the teacher as he taught the lesson to us. Insha Allah he said that this was going to be his policy from now that anytime he comes for conferences he would follow it up with lessons in the Masjids and I look forward to attending more of his classes.
And now I will share some very brief notes that I took in the class. I could not take much notes as I did not have my pad and pen with me so took down what I could in my phone. It was quite hard to listen and type at the same time so I missed a lot out.
Before beginning the main lesson Imam Suhaib stressed the importance of having more of the halaqats in the masajid and not to be bogged down by large conferences and events but to have more of this regular small circles of knowledge as this is more beneficial and a lot more can be learnt. He mentioned how when the Prophet (peace be upon him) entered Madina, before even building a home for himself he built the masjid and the masjid has always been the pinnacle of the Islamic civilisation wherever it went.
Imam Suhaib took a short lesson on the book of Imam Al-Muhasibi called Al-Risalatul Mustarshideen (http://www.al-rashad.com/sunnah-sufis-risala-almustarshidin-p-727.html).
He began by explaining the Imam Al Muhasibi wrote this book for those who wanted to know how to get close to Allah and gain His pleasure and this is the topic base of the book.
He then began with defining Tazkiyya as meaning to grow in something, or to develop a thing and clarified that Tazkiyya is both internal and external, it is both spiritual and physical, it has to do with both the heart and the actions of the limbs. He said that in todays age there are Muslim who only call for the purification of the heart but then seperate that from the actions of the limbs and in some cases go to the extreme and say that there is no need for action so long as we have a sound heart. This is wrong and as Muslims it is part of our deen to have both the purification of the soul alongside purifying the actions.
He said that Imam Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudda made the above book available for print and added some notes to it and it his notes he added the Hikayat Al-Awliya (stories of the righteous) as means of explaining the book of Imam Al Muhasibi. The reason for this is that stories lifts the spirits and strengthens the hearts. Stories set an example and a precedent that can be followed and it is also something that we as human beings can relate directly to. This is why much of the Qur’an is filled with stories from the people of the past.
Also the mention of the righteous brings the Praise of Allah because this is what they did and this is what we would like to do. We praise Allah for granting us such Awliya that we can take an example from and we also priase Him because this is what the stories of the Awliya teach us to do.
Stories of the righteous also teach us about the Adab that they had in the circles of knowledge and the adab with which they studied and taught and the adab with which they carried out their duties and their ibadat and these are all lessons for us to take and emulate in our lives.
Imam Suhaib then spoke a little about knowledge and the importance of knowledge and how in order for knowledge to benefit us and penetrate our hearts, the hearts must be cleansed of the dirt that it contains and this is what tazkiyya is meant to do. Light can not penetrate a disobedient heart so before one can start taking knowledge one needs and benefiting from it one must be an obedient servant of Allah. When you become and obedient servant of Allah then the path to taking knowledge because easy for you and Allah will facilitate for your learning.
To conclude Imam Suhaib read to us the first passage from the book which spoke about the rights of the Qur’an on the servant of Allah:
The first right of the book of Allah is that it must be obeyed in its orders and prohibitions.
The second right of the Qur’an is that one must fear the warnings and the pubishments that it speaks of.
The third right is that one must have hope in the promises that it makes to the believers.
The fourth right of the book is that we must have complete faith in the Mutashabih (ambiguous) verses.
The fifth right of the Qur’an is that we must give regard to the stories and examples and parables set forth in the Qur’an and take lessons from them.
Imam Al Muhasibi then said in the book that if we can do the above five points with the book of Allah then Allah will take us from the darkness of ignorance to the light of faith.
Imam Suhaib then concluded with a short Dua and a quick Q&A session.
Jazak Allahu Khair to Imam Suhaib for blessing us with his time. May Allah Azza Wajal preserve him and keep him well and grant him much tawfiq to serve the Muslims and to serve His deen.